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Nov 11

A stroll up to Castle crag 13/05/14

castle crag

Route Distance: 5.02 km. Total Ascent: 282 m

It was early May this year and it was time for my 1st trip to the Lakes. Not having done much walking, I decided on Castle Crag as it was a short walk which offered me some great views. It was a Tuesday and the weather was set fare so after an early morning alarm call, I set off on a walk I had been looking forward to for ages. I was interested to see why Wainwright had included it in his list with it being such a small hill. He describes it in his pictorial guide thus it “is so magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so aggressively unashamed of its lack of inches, that less than justice would be done by relegating it to a paragraph in the High spy chapter.”

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Perfect conditions. The view from Rosthwaite car park

When I arrived at Rosthwaite, the conditions couldn’t be better, a bit of cloud, nice and cool with a hint of rain in the air. Just how the Lakes should be.

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Stepping stones across the River Derwent

The walk started with a nice stroll along the River Derwent, passing the stepping stones.

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Bridge over the ‘Derwent’

Just after the stepping stones I had to cross the bridge to the other side of the river and then continue along the path. I then had the 1st glimpse of Castle crag.

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Castle crag in the distance

From the river, it was a fairly short but steep climb up to the treeline and eventually I came out and arrived at a disused quarry.

 

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The path snakes up the pile of slate

A path has been made into the pile of slate, you can just make it out on the left hand side of this picture.

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Trees spoiling the view

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The beautiful Borrowdale valley

Looking back, there were some fantastic views down what is known as the ‘best square mile in Lakeland’, the Borrowdale valley

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Mysterious slate formations?

After climbing the slate path I arrived at the “mysterious slate formations”, although I hardly think they are that mysterious.

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Me spoiling the view

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The magnificent Skiddaw from the summit of Castle crag

At the summit of Castle crag, there were great views of Derwent water and Keswick with Skiddaw in the background.

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The war memorial at the summit 290m.

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Another one of Skiddaw

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I can’t help myself

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Looking into the old quarry

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The path is in sight

After coming down from the summit I made my way to the path that would lead to Seatoller, although I would be leaving the path before then.

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I do like the bridges in the Lake district

For the next half hour the path was fairly level making it easy on the legs and a pleasure to walk.

 

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Rain coming down the Borrowdale valley

It was about this time that the weather began to change and there was a threat of rain in the air.

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Some of the locals

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Beautiful

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Bigger hills in the distance

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The rain had hit me by this time, even the sheep needed shelter

About the time I arrived at the woods above Longthwaite, the rain that had been threatening, duly arrived in buckets and I had to take shelter under the trees with some of the local sheep.

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On the descent to Longthwaite

It was here I left the path to Seatoller and headed down through the woods to Longthwaite.

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A nice walk through the woods

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I may book one of those pods one day

After a pleasant stroll through the woods, I arrived at YHA Borrowdale, which I have to say looked great and I will stay there one day.

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Path hoggers

From Longthwaite it was just a short stroll over some fields back to Rosthwaite and the start of my journey.

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Back to Rosthwaite

Although Castle crag is nowhere near the highest or most strenuous of peaks to get to, I can see why Wainwright held it in such high regard. For minimum effort you certainly get the maximum in scenery. If you have 2 or 3 hours to spare, I would definitely recommend this walk and it should suit walkers of all abilities.

 

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